Red Cross in Bahamas preparing for Hurricane Isaias, while balancing COVID-19 response and Hurricane Dorian recovery

Panama/Port of Spain, 31 July 2020 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is working alongside the Bahamas Red Cross to prepare for Hurricane Isaias.

A hurricane warning is in effect in the Bahamas with storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall expected on the south eastern islands today and continuing through the weekend.

Effective preparedness and early action in disaster saves lives and livelihoods. The Red Cross is working with communities to ensure they are ready to address possible hurricane conditions during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bahamas Red Cross is working closely with the National Emergency Management Agency supporting plans for preparedness and response, including the opening of shelters. The Bahamas Red Cross is sharing information about how-to be ready for disaster, and the latest information about the storm. Red Cross volunteers have been trained in using personal protection equipment and are ready to mobilize in response to Hurricane Isaias.

“The team in the Bahamas is managing three difficult emergencies simultaneously: they are preparing for Hurricane Isaias, addressing and supporting people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuing to help in recovery from Hurricane Dorian,” said Ariel Kestens IFRC Head of Country Cluster for the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean.

“The Red Cross is continuing our work, as well as monitoring the situation to determine our ongoing course of action and how to continue to best meet the needs of vulnerable communities during these difficult times.”

To mitigate the impacts of a hurricane and associated flooding, the Red Cross has pre-positioned humanitarian relief supplies in key areas throughout the region. Across the Caribbean, Red Cross volunteers are sharing early warning and preparedness messages, and they are urging people to have food, water, and other necessities available, and to consider personal protection measures, such as masks and hand sanitizer for emergency go bags.

Latin America and the Caribbean are disaster-prone regions. The IFRC advocates for climate change adaptation measures to mitigate the humanitarian impact of these disasters.

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